Live Review: Julie Christmas & Hundred Year Old Man, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Tonight is a date that has been earmarked in the diaries of all present as an exceptional performance from an artist who was last seen up north when she and her band utterly destroyed Damnation Festival in 2023. That set was the stuff of legend, so the excitement is at a fever pitch at the Brudenell as the great and the good wait for the sonic treats that await them inside these hallowed walls.

Hundred Year Old Man are playing in front of stage tonight literally in front of the crowd with no barriers with some new material and a fantastically constructed set of songs. The premiere of the latest work shows enormous growth and expansion and a band entirely transcending. Tonight, Hundred Year Old Man are really hurling the riffs at the crowd with the up close and personal feel of this set-up. This unconventional approach amplifies the overwhelming power and beauty in their unique brand of post-metal. Bringing the pace down to a crushing funeral march in places and exploding into huge sonic waves and a giant-killing low end that stuns all present. It’s great to have Hundred-Year-Old Man destroying things like this in their hometown in an intimate way; this special performance won’t be forgotten.

Julie Christmas is resplendent in flashing lights and a lit mask. What follows the ominous electronics of the intro of Bones In The Water is an outburst of the best-twisted post-punk and post-metal you’ll hear anywhere. The show is simply passion and art colliding most gloriously as incredible recent album cuts like Not Enough and Supernatural take our collective breath away. Julie Christmas has something for everyone in her sound, including influences from Bjork, Chelsea Wolfe, and Beth Gibbons (especially on End Of The World). This sonic stew is wrapped into this performance with the kind of guitar experimentation you’d expect from Sonic Youth and Mogwai. These are the best parts of the finest alternative forward-thinking music of the last thirty years. In one minute, we’ll have a full Portishead-style lament. The next, we’re being treated to what Crass and Amenra would sound like jamming together, especially when guitarist Johannes Persson lends his throat-shredding larynx to the mix.

The fact that the Brudenell is packed with a who’s who of local and not local alternative metal/post-rock royalty is a testament to the vast amount of talent exploding onstage in front of us. It’s almost like our entire playlist jammed together and somehow sounded perfect in harmony; this is incredible. As an encore, July 31st brings us to our knees, and to the end of the show, the overwhelming feeling we’re left with is to tell the world. If you can experience this show live, grab it with both hands and prepare for an evening you will never forget.

Review & Photography By George Miller

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Hundred Year Old Man

Julie Christmas